Remarks by Deputy Chief of Mission Kent at AIDS Day Event

December 1, 2016

Good morning. I am delighted to join you all here beneath the Red Ribbon Memorial on this day dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day is a time to commemorate and honor those who have battled, died from, and continue the struggle against HIV/AIDS.
Through the collective efforts of civil society, government, foundations, and international partners, we have made tremendous progress both globally and here in Ukraine to address the HIV epidemic.

Each lost life motivates us to continue to work together to accelerate progress and achieve our goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (or PEPFAR) demonstrates our commitment and supports Ukraine’s vision to achieve a generation that is free of HIV.

We endorse UNAIDS ’90-90-90′ targets: the percentages of people who know their status; of those who are on treatment; and of those who are virally suppressed, to 90 percent.

Globally, PEPFAR is the largest commitment by any nation in history to combat a single disease. We invest with our voices, our capacity, and our dollars. But we know that none of us can go it alone if we are going to reach epidemic control in Ukraine.

The U.S. Government has directly invested over $180 million since 2003 to support the national HIV/AIDS response in Ukraine. We provide technical assistance through six U.S. government agencies and their implementing partners.

We commend Ukraine for successfully increasing the number of people on antiretroviral treatment.

The U.S. is proud that we have contributed to the scale-up of treatment by providing more than $15 million for drugs and commodities over the last two years.

But, we all recognize that funding is only one piece of the strategy to address HIV/AIDS.

It is equally critical that we continue our cooperative work as partners. I want to mention three key areas.

First, we need to continue to jointly invest in evidence-based interventions that will result in more people receiving care and treatment.

Second, we should support critical policy changes that will ensure quality health services.

Finally, we need to stand together unequivocally with, and for, populations most at risk for HIV. When one community member is stigmatized or unable to access services due to discrimination, the health and human dignity of everyone in that community is threatened.

Today we have the tools and the data to deliver on the promise of an AIDS free generation, but it will not happen automatically or easily.

We must increase our resolve, and further deepen our commitment to working together, if we are serious about ending the HIV epidemic in Ukraine and globally. Thank you.